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Five: You’re what? You’re pregnant? - educating on LGBTQ fertility versus oversharing

Updated: Jun 10, 2023

Our journey with the fertility clinic was nearly over. One final scan at eight weeks to check there was a healthy heartbeat or beats (we had opted for two eggs to go back in). I walked into the sonographers dimly lit room, removed my trousers, pants and got myself ready in the chair. With an air of confidence, I even lifted my legs into the stirrups. The lovely lady (so wish I could remember her name), entered and very kindly asked me to put my clothes back on for the external ultrasound! The last shred of my dignity hurriedly left the room.

Now fully dressed and back in the chair, there on the screen was one strong heartbeat. I had no idea what I was looking at but was assured by the reactions around me that we didn’t need to plan for twins.

Following that scan we were handed back to the, thankfully free, NHS. We were several thousand pounds lighter and apart from the anxiety, sickness, bloating and indigestion I loved being pregnant. The day I felt that flutter in my stomach and realised it wasn’t constipation, the enormity of what we were doing became a reality.

At the twelve-week milestone, it was time to tell the world. Well maybe not the world but some of West London and work. Something was wrong. That feeling I’d managed to push down over the years fluttered in my gut and this time it wasn’t the baby kicking. It was the fear of homophobia, the impact it could have on my career and at the root was the teenage shame of being different, for being gay. Those close to me at work knew I was a lesbian, but many didn’t. The corporate environment was a world away from the creative jobs I had had in the past and over time I had put myself back in the closet. Convincing myself it didn’t matter, that it wasn’t their business. But I was kidding myself and knew it was my insecurity and fear.

How would I explain my pregnancy without coming out all over again? But more importantly, how could I raise children to be well rounded, confident and proud of their family if I wasn’t proud and secure in myself. So that was that, I had an epiphany. I knew what was needed and the following morning I went into the office and, using a megaphone, stood on a table and proudly shouted to everyone ‘I’m GAY and PREGNANT!’. I was fired by lunchtime for causing a commotion.

I am of course joking about the table and being fired but I did tell everyone. I managed to get into every conversation, within the first minute, that I was a lesbian and married to a woman. ‘This weekend my wife and I…. She, my wife said….’ Even to the barista, ‘my wife does like a cappuccino, oh and by the way we are having a baby!’. Gone was the gender-neutral language I used in the workplace, and I left no doubt in anyone’s mind I was queer and here. It was so liberating and not met with any homophobia. To this day I still out myself within sixty seconds to complete strangers. That’s just in case the pride badge, biker boots and crew cut hasn’t outed me first!

Curiosity matters. Oversharing through necessity

Being gay and pregnant can cause a few eyebrows to raise. I’m an extrovert, I love people and always oversharing so happy to chat away to anyone, particularly if it raises awareness and understanding of the LGBTQ community. But, and there is a but. For some reason strangers felt it appropriate to ask about every intimate detail of how we fell pregnant. Who’s the donor, do you know him, why are you carrying the child, did you use a turkey baster, who’s going to play the father role, aren’t you worried there’s no dad about? My personal favourite asked to my wife ‘and you’re happy about that?’, as the assumption was, I had been sleeping with the postman.

And that’s all ok, within reason. We were not the norm. Curiosity, when done respectfully and with the best intentions, is a good thing but it can also be exhausting. I was used to coming out time and time again but now there was an additional layer of complexity, feeling I needed to explain, even justify very personal decisions.

Please keep asking as education is the foundation for change. Just take the person’s lead. What do they need from you? How much do they want to divulge and maybe avoid statements like how the hell did YOU get pregnant and who’s the father?!

An extra bit

I featured in an article with DIVA two years ago. I would like to say it was because of my inspirational role within the community but no, it happened because I begged a lot of people! Even so, it was a life highlight for me to share my experience in the lesbian bible DIVA and has led to some wonderful opportunities. I found my megaphone worked a treat, when this time, I stood on the table and shouted, ‘no one wants DIVA as much as I do!'

Let’s get the conversation going. Please share in comments. The more we talk about LGBTQ+ parenting the more we will fill the gap

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30 apr 2023
Valutazione 5 stelle su 5.

I love this and DIVA. DIVA helped me so much when coming out and knowing I wasn’t alone x

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09 mag 2023
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I hear you 🥰 thanks for commenting

Bec (Raising Gaybies)

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